New Jersey Introduces Paid Sick Leave Law

New Jersey has joined the ranks of nine other states throughout the country that now require employers to provide paid-sick leave to their employees.

Effective October 29, 2018, the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act will require private-sector employers, regardless of size, to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave to employees during an employer-established benefit year. The Act will preempt existing municipal and county sick leave laws.

Who Has to Comply?

The Act applies to all NJ employers, regardless of size, with the exception of public employers already required to provide sick leave. Similarly, nearly all NJ employees will be entitled to collect leave, with the exception of:

  • Employees in the construction industry who are employed under a collective bargaining agreement
  • Per diem health care employees
  • Public employees who already receive sick leave benefits

How It Works

Employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked during an employer-established benefit year, for a total of up to 40 hours of paid sick leave.

Employers can also elect to provide the 40 hours of paid sick leave to their employees up front at the beginning of the benefit year.

The sick leave can be used for various reasons, including to:

  • Diagnose, treat or care for physical and mental illness, including preventive care
  • Care for an ill or injured family member
  • Obtain services if the employee is a victim of domestic or sexual violence
  • Handle circumstances arising from a public health emergency
  • Attend school-related meetings to discuss a child’s health condition or disability.

Employers are not required to permit employees to accrue, use or carry forward more than 40 hours of earned sick leave per benefit year. Employers also are not required to “pay out” any unused sick-leave time to employees at the end of the year.

How Can NJ Employers Prepare?

New Jersey employers should begin reviewing their existing paid leave policies immediately to ensure they are in compliance with the new law and if not, to make necessary changes. If you would assistance in reviewing your company's existing PTO policy, please contact Matthew Roessler at to learn how PROXUS can help.

If your company uses PROXUS’ Human Capital Management platform and you need to make adjustments to your company’s Paid Sick and/or PTO policy, please contact no later than August 10 so that we can update the system for you.

A Growing Trend

While there are no existing federal laws that require employers to provide paid sick leave, there are now ten states across the country, along with Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, that have paid sick leave mandates. Those states include:

Arizona: Earned Paid Sick Time (2016)
California: Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Family Act (2014)
Connecticut: Paid Sick Leave Act (2011)
Maryland: Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (2018)
Massachusetts: Earned Sick Time for Employees (2014)
New Jersey: The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act (2018)
Oregon: Mandatory Provision of Sick Time (2015)
Rhode Island: Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act (2017)
Vermont: Vermont's Earned Sick Time Act (2016)
Washington: Employee Sick Leave (2016)
Washington D.C.: Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act (2014)
Philadelphia: Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces (2015)

If you operate a business in one of these states, understanding and communicating the laws that apply to your business and employees is critical. PROXUS’ team of experienced HR specialists is here to help with Employee Handbook reviews, HR Consulting Services and more. Contact Matthew Roessler at to learn more.

Tags: Human Resources